MEASURE Survey Release:
Policy Toward IranPDF/Printable
The Middle East Academic Survey Research Exposition
project polled 76 Middle East academics about US policy toward Iran.
The survey was fielded between July 8 and July 13, 2005.
Drawn from a pool of 2,300 academics with advanced degrees in Middle East area studies, IRmep compiled and
presents survey responses. This poll should
not be interpreted as a statistically significant reflection on the views of all US Middle East academic specialists.
- 58% of Middle East Academics
polled believe the Bush Administration will not accept any level of Iranian nuclear
program. However 72% believe the Administration should accept tightly monitored civilian
power generation in Iran.
- 67% of Middle East Academics
polled believe that Israeli regional ambitions and security are "extremely
influential" on Bush Administration regional policy, while 27% believe they are
- 88% of Middle East Academics
polled believe that Israeli regional ambitions should be a "neutral" or
"non-influential" factor on Bush Administration policy toward Iran.
- 56.2% of
Middle East Academics polled believe there is a 50% or higher probability that the US will
engage in military strikes against Iran within the next three years; 61% believe there is
a 50% or higher probability that Israel will strike.
- 92.1% of Middle East Academics
polled believe that the US policy formulation
process toward Iran is functioning
"not very well" to "poorly".
the following charts and comments for elaboration on each survey question.
Question #1 How likely is it that the Bush Administration
will accept any level of Iranian nuclear capability?
This hard-line is in distinct contrast to U.S. policy (of the Bush
and other U.S. administrations) to the nuclear capability of Israel.
I think that the current U.S. administration has
made it clear that it is opposed to nuclear proliferation that threatens Israeli and US
interests in the Middle East. The Israeli press (and presumably the government) has
opposed Iranian arms for years
Given the administration's stance towards North Korea, it seems
unlikely that they would tolerate any nuclear capability under taken by another member of
the "Axis of Evil."
Actually, I think we are stretched too thin
to do much.
The Bush administration has no choice. Iran has the power to
develop nuclear power generation, and this is what they repeatedly have stated as their
goal. The Bush administration would be wise to abandon this losing issue.
The Russians are too invested in Iran's nuclear program.
It's not a question of leveraging Iran (we have little leverage). It's a question of leveraging Putin.
Given the Bush administration's strong
ideological bent, their interest in vengeance, and their (justified) distrust in the
Iranian government, I can't imagine their accepting any level of nuclear capability.
and not al-Qaeda) remains the "great Satan" for the Bush Administration.
Think Embassy takeover.
This would only be with European pressure;
otherwise no nuclear program will be accepted.
policy seeks primarily to ensure that nuclear weapons in the Middle East are solely in
the hands of Israel.
I believe that, for the Bush Administration,
this is a matter of principle and that previous statements make it difficult to fall
behind that position.
It is highly unlikely that the Bush
Administration would accept anything but a very low-level and highly monitored capability.
Not likely. Bush Administration
ideologues would view any allowance for nuclear activity as "backing down."
If tight monitoring were made possible and
the Iranian government could be trusted to cooperate fully.
Short of a war, the US has no choice but to
negotiate a condition satisfactory to both parties.
The Bush Administration's hand will be forced
by the Europeans on this issue.
I feel that as long as long as Israel is
allowed to maintain its nuclear capability without signing the non-proliferation treaty or
subjecting itself to inspection, it will be difficult for other nations in the region not
to feel threatened and will therefore continue to seek some nuclear capability. I
believe some pressure should be maintained on the Iranians, with open inspection of their
plants. If they agree to that they should be allowed to use nuclear power for
peaceful means. The oil countries of the region need to find alternative means of
power while exporting their oil.
Probably no level of capability, but possibly
couched to tolerate a minimum capacity - but in terms designed to ensure Iran's rejection of the
I believe that the Bush administration will
publicly say there is a "no tolerance" policy for Iranian nuclear capability,
but if there is verifiable intelligence demonstrating Iran is developing nuclear weapons,
Bush will ignore or deny this evidence publicly, because the U.S. doesn't have the
military strength and it is not economically "strategic" to try and take
resources (e.g. oil) from even more nations and regions that resent U.S. policies and
any level of Iranian nuclear capability?
Question #2 Should the Bush Administration accept
The U.S. can not presume to itself dictate nuclear control over the rest
of the world when we ourselves (and, Israel, our closest ally in the region) have not signed the nuclear
Given the nuclear proliferation at the
present, opposition to Iranian nuclear power is difficult to understand
The U.S. needs to get back into the business of negotiating and sticking
to international treaties on non-proliferation. The current scheme is definitely
flawed, but the best tools available at present, until new, better treaties can be
Since they are unable to prevent Iran from moving forward
on this front, it would be wise to accept the Iranian agenda. That would make development
of nuclear weapons in Iran LESS likely. Without the challenge, Iranians will likely stick
to their original goals.
I find it amazing that the US should be able to tell
Iranians not to have nuclear power or weapons when the US has both and used them
on the Japanese. The arrogance and implicit racism is amazing.
Unless the US is willing to make
significant reductions in its own nuclear capabilities, the US has little moral
credibility. The Europeans won't go along with calls for a total elimination of Iranian
nuclear development. Iran is not North Korea that could potentially be bought off (as it was under Clinton).
I think this is the best shot we have at a
It is inconsistent for the US to develop its own
capabilities, but serve as police on those of other countries (especially ones it does not
like - after all, it's hardly trying to control Israel's developments).
I think this is the best we can expect. I think that engaging the Iranians is better than
not engaging them.
We are already living with two Middle Eastern
countries (Pakistan, Israel) known to have a nuclear capability. Since both are currently
on good terms with the US, that is something we can live with. But both of those
countries have problematic or hostile relations with Iran. Tehran's push for a
nuclear weapons capability has to be understood within that context, as connected with Iran's own security
concerns, some of which are legitimate. These concerns have to be addressed in a realistic
manner as part of any move to persuade Iran to back off from its quest to acquire its own nuclear
capability. Peremptory threats are sure to fuel Iranian nationalism and Islamic militancy
and are unlikely to cause a change of course. Bombing or invading Iran is likely to
be far more destabilizing to the region and have more serious long-term consequences than
even the fall-back of finding a modus vivendi with a nuclear-capable Iran.
While I believe that this should be
acceptable, I do not believe the Bush administration would find it so.
There is no reason to treat Iran different from other
countries in the region. What matters it that the program is controlled.
If Israel can have a bomb, why not the Iranians. Equity should be
"Should" is the operative
Who does the US think it is, when it
is developing battlefield nuclear weapons, to tell other countries what to do?
With international inspectors having full
access to relevant locations in Iran.
The idea of mutuality in nuclear arms
thinking, which has been the cornerstone of strategic thinking in the West since WWI, has
been completely absent in the ME. An Iranian nuclear presence might actually lead to
a more stable political system in the region. The issue is being pushed aggressively
and pro-Israeli lobbyists in Washington, but it should not blind the Administration to the longer-term US goals in the
region, such as political and economic development.
The Iranians will not give this up unless forced to do so militarily. They began to
develop this capability under the Shah and won't give up except under duress.
should accept what the international community will accept. Keep in mind that neither the US nor Israel have signed on to
the nuclear proliferation treaty (NPT) whereas Iran has.
The Iranian people have a right to develop
their nuclear industry for peaceful and productive means.
Other than bombing and occupying Iran (which would be
foolish at best), I don't see how the Bush administration can enforce anything in Iran; realistically, it
is probably only through economic incentives (which, sadly, given our past history will
probably involve secret arms deals or huge bribes to individual Iranian officials) that
any sort of restrictions will be enacted.
Not sure. How tightly can any program be
monitored? Can both parties (or Iranians and non-Iranians) agree on what constitutes
Question #3 How
influential are each of the following
factors on Bush administration policies toward Iran?
a. Iranian energy reserves and strategic
b. Efforts to diminish militant Islamic influences.
c. Israeli regional ambitions and security.
Drive for regional democracy.
e. Serving private US
We want to find a political stance that will
resonate with the American people
The ongoing, irrational mutual demonization taking place between the United States and Iran. Iran is the designated bogeyman of this
administration, used for all kinds of internal political benefits in the United States.
Effort to stabilize Iraq.
Revenge for the hostage crisis of 1979-1980.
While business and energy issues have certainly driven US policy towards Iran in the past, I think these are truly eclipsed
by the new Bush agenda.
The Bush administration seeks a joint US-Israeli hegemony over the Middle East.
Internal US affairs, promises made to the American
My impression is that the Bush administration and previous administrations have refused to
accept that the Iranian revolution happened. American officials are against Iran for the simple reason that they overthrew a
US supported dictator.
While I would definitely say that Israeli security is an influential factor, I must
strongly dispute the words: Israeli regional ambitions" in c. above.
Challenging the Iranian regional hegemony in the region.
Establish and maintain US dominance in Central and Southwestern Asia.
I do not believe that Iran wants a confrontation with the US or Europe or Israel over its nuclear ambitions. Iran remembers well the Israeli attack on the
Iraqi reactor and does not want to bring that on themselves. It also wishes to
become less isolated within the community of nations. If given the chance, I do not
believe the Iranian leadership will go beyond peaceful uses of nuclear power, provided
they do not feel too threatened by the US or Israel, or by unrest on their borders.
The Bush admin. wants a highly militant
Islamic government in Iran to justify a confrontation.
Extremely influential: the memory of the
Hostages and a desire for revenge as was the case with Saddam Hussein and Iraq
Extremely influential: the Administration's understanding of diminishing militant Islamic
influence and encouraging regional democracy AS THEY DEFINE THESE NOTIONS, which is quite
unlike how policy makers and citizens in many other countries define them.
Attempting to control oil reserves.
Question #4 How influential should each of the
following factors be on Bush administration policies toward Iran?
a. Iranian energy reserves and strategic
b. Efforts to diminish militant Islamic influences.
Israeli regional ambitions and security.
d. Drive for regional democracy.
Serving private US
In a utopist
world (that doesn't currently exist), U.S. policy towards Iran would be based on informed and open-minded good-faith
negotiations with the interests of the U.S. but also and no less importantly of the region and the globe
clearly in focus. Poorly informed, badly conceived, and terribly executed U.S. foreign
policy--particularly but not exclusively in the Middle
East--has made the world a far less safe, far less
democratic, far less environmentally viable place.
keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists and other non-state actors.
I don't think the administration understands enough about foreign policy and foreign
countries to know how to achieve what they want or what I want.
The US's involvement serves
to polarize the Iranian population into a more oppositional stand, as witness by the most
I have no
illusions that my answers will ever find their way into the thinking of the Bush
The Bush administration should work for regional stability. Iran is key to this.
By refusing to normalize relations with Iran, the US puts the entire gulf region, as well as central Asia, at risk.
wording of c. here is highly prejudicial and reflects tendentiousness.
US should butt
out of Iranian affairs
relationships with the Muslim world
helping the people of Iran and others in the region in reforming their governance
structure based on decentralization and community self-governance principles.
nervousness about instability on its borders with Iraq and Afghanistan should be considered, also past history in its relations with
the US and Britain which has left
influential: a much more nuanced understanding of Islam, militant or otherwise, and
politics among Islamic groups (Shiis vs. Sunnis, militant vs. not, etc.) as well as the
history of Iran and Iran/US relations FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OR IRANIANS AND
OTHERS IN THE REGION
idea of self-determination and ending an imperial policy toward the region
Question #5 What is the probability that the following will occur within the next three
military strikes against Iran
b. Israeli military strikes against Iran
International coalition or UN strikes against Iran.
d. Crisis resolution or detente.
e.Other (rank, then comment below):
The U.S. cannot afford to
engage directly in another war. Regardless of popular will in the U.S. and international
opinion, the costs both financial and human are more than the U.S. can shoulder without
devastating its economy in the shorter term. More likely--if anything-- is some kind of
covert action (or an open strike?) by our 'junior partner' and surrogate in the region, Israel.
In the case of Iran, I think that Israel would prefer that
the US take
the lead. Notice that the Israeli supporters in the administration supported US
(rather than Israeli) intervention against Iraq.
The USA will initiate talks
with Iran to
non-resolution of the dispute (as with Korea).
The main thing
holding us back, I fear, is our costly military commitment to the war in Iraq.
probably would support a US attack but would resist getting its own forces directly
The US is most likely to
strike against Iran through air strikes or other means that don't involve
individual military deployment. Now that some troops will be pulled out of Iraq, some may be
switched to an Iranian operation, in the hopes that that will be more successful than the Iraq presence. Just as Iraq has served as a
distraction from Afghanistan (how regularly do we hear about Afghanistan blunders in
the media now), so Iran may be seen to serve as a distraction from Iraq.
The most likely
resolution is a continuation of the status quo.
50% or higher
probability that the situation will continue unresolved over the next three years.
want war, there will be war.
lessons of Iraq, the US administration is likely to seek to curb the Iranian nuclear
program through tough, internationally agreed conditionality than unilateral belligerence.
I shudder to
consider this occurring, but I won't be surprised if it does. To use a Southern
expression, the Bush administration "don't believe cow horns will hook." It has
made a mess in Afghanistan and in Iraq. I have to assume it'll do its best to make a mess of Iran too while continuing
to claim that it is there to "spread democracy" or "hope" or
"alternatives to terror," etc.
Question #6 If you could give the Bush
administration three recommendations
for long term Iran policy, what would they be?
1. One only -
politically, diplomatically, economically - which means removing trade sanctions
(1) US to seek
rapprochement with Iran's government and people, (2) Work for better relations among
all ME governments, (3) Promote balanced economic development.
engagement until Iran decides it will not sabotage US interests.
enough. But a good start would be for the bellicose and arrogant U.S. rhetoric to be
turned off and the U.S. to 'step down' from its position of dictating what will happen
where in the Middle East. A historically and politically informed international
negotiating team (NOT a solely U.S. or U.S. directed effort) to help promote peace and
stability and democracy in Iran and the larger region and to engage in talks both with the
Iranian government (and area governments) AND with local and regional groups working
towards the same broad ends would be a good start.
I would suggest
Bush worry about the reconciliation of US interests with Middle Eastern countries
Pay less attention to Israeli interests. Make
it clear that the US government is not interested in following the advice of
hotheads who are demanding that we march into Tehran.
negotiations for new relations
2. Catalyze the establishment of a Palestinian state
3. Insist on a secular government in Iraq
Be willing to
something in exchange for giving up its nuclear capabilities
Don't listen to Iranian exiles or dissidents in the U.S.
Pursue detente in the interests of the Iranian and American people
1. Treat Iran and Iranians with
2. Eschew anti-Islamic and anti-Iranian ideology.
3. Quit insulting Iran and Iranians.
1, Hands off in
terms of movements toward democracy. Our taking credit means it is less likely that
it will happen.
2. Try to establish as many cultural exchanges as possible.
3. Pay more attention to the insights of Iran experts--people who are from Iraq, have spent
considerable time living and studying in Iran and speak Farsi well.
1, Engage in
negotiations to resolve conflicts;
2. Treat Iran
with respect /avoid belligerent language;
3. Be willing to compromise.
up the harsh rhetoric
2. Permit nuclear power development
3. Gradually remove sanctions
working with UN, European allies, and Iran to ensure rigorous, effective international monitoring of Iran's nuclear
2. Monitor Iran's program closely and carefully with our own national
intelligence assets and beef up those assets as necessary to accomplish this.
3. Ensure that the US has a credible capability to use the military option ONLY as a
final last resort and work to gain UN and international support for such military action.
diplomatic relations with Iran.
2. Lift economic sanctions against Iran.
3. Partner with Iran in development projects in the Persian Gulf region.
1. Pursue broad
policy of cultural and economic exchange. Stop treating Iran as pariah.
2. Accept civilian nuclear power under strict international monitoring.
3. Reassure Israel that we would guarantee its security vis a vis Iran.
2. Open the door to genuine dialogue
3. Start to normalize relationships
1. Mind your
2. Stop supporting the Israelis
3. Watch your mouth! (Axis of evil?!)
internal debates toward open society in Iran
2) Encourage US energy self-sufficiency so that Iranian energy self-sufficiency is not a
3) Encourage regional stability so that Iraq and Iran grow into democracy together, not in
Encouraging relations with Iran would help US security and interests in the region, NOT hinder it.
2) Aggressive threats will only further alienate and polarize Iran and the region.
3) Solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a just solution and Iran will fall in line.
lifting of at least some economic sanctions in exchange for close monitoring of nuclear
2) Find ways to support Iranians in and out of Iran who are pushing for reforms.
to the bargaining table as an honest broker;
2. Leave the AIPAC negotiators in D.C.;
3. Get over the embassy takeover NOW!
1- Do not label
governments as members of an "axis of evil" and the like; this only serves to
polarize relations. The government should apologize for this sweeping thoughtless comment.
2- Be an even-handed arbitrator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That would include
putting pressure on Israel regarding the building of the wall. This conflict is the key to
US relations with other Mid-East countries.
3- Devise a long-term effective Iraq policy. The current situation in Iraq is simply fueling
Iranian resentment towards the US. Since several of the Iraqi Shi'i leaders have some connections
with Iran (education, exile, etc.) the two countries have a shared fate
in some regards.
consideration the attitudes of European countries.
Try to establish more non-governmental connections in Iran to foster good
Do not establish policies for Iran as if it were an isolated country. Instead they should
consider the regional relationships that exist and develop policies which strengthen these
1. Don't make
negative comments on Iranian democracy (however deserved) just before an election--it's
like insulting someone's Mom.
2. Try to contain Iran not overthrow the regime. The regime will fall quicker from
within. US meddling pretty much unites everyone there.
1) Pressure Israel to settle the Palestine question--this
will reduce Iranian ire at US.
2) Match Iranian nuclear disarmament with efforts to get Israel to eliminate its
3) Press Iran
to democratize, but don't invade-to do so would only antagonize the many Iranians who want
democracy and better ties with the West.
1. Work for a
genuine and open dialogue between the US and the Tehran government as well as Iran's democratic opposition (rather than communicating via
ultimatums, threats and strident calls for regime change);
2. Recognize that Iran also has its own legitimate security interests in the region and
work towards fostering common interests (e.g. in regional stability) where such
commonalities can be found;
3.The US should stop relying on corrupt and anti-democratic Iranian exile groups (the
terrorist MEK, assorted royalists, the shady Mr. Ghorbanifar, etc.) and recognize that
democratic change in Iran has to come from within; it is a matter for the Iranians, not in
directly with the Iranian government.
2. Do not have US Middle Eastern policy virtually dictated by Israel.
3. Stop the hypocritical claptrap about spreading democracy.
1. Recognize Iran's real geopolitical
interests re: neighbors.
2. Recognize Iranian people's affection for America.
3. Recognize Iranian economic interests in sale of its oil.
1. Make use of
the potential of a society whose population which, in large parts, is US friendly;
2. Don't become frustrated of the elections. civil society will be back.
3. Stay calm and maintain an adequate intellectual level. Do not counter propaganda by
counter propaganda of the same style.
Consult intellectual Persian Studies scholar who is fluent in Persian / Farsi and has
lived there for ten years or more.
2. Listen and HEED the remarks of intellectuals with a PRO-Iranian position.
3. Realize Iran has a different culture than the "Middle East."
Promote people exchange programs with Iran.
2) Treat Iran as you would any other stable, semi-democratic government- as you treat
Israel or Turkey, for example;
3) Recognize the mistakes that the US and other western countries such as Britain and
Russia have made in the past, and don't repeat them!
1 - Engage in
direct talks with Iranian officials about issues of concern.
2 - Work with Iranian officials to stabilize Afghanistan and Iraq.
3 - Promote people-to-people exchanges between Iranians and U.S. citizens.
Promote forces for liberalization within Iran.
2. Keep open backdoor contacts while continuing sanctions.
3. Develop good on-the-ground intelligence within Iran.
that other nations have perceived national interests that are not necessarily identical to
US national interests.
2. Open a dialogue with the Iranian Government. You don't have to like them to
talk to them.
3. Remember that Iran has strength to be a regional power. Work to that
strength and find an accommodation.
1. Keep your
powder dry and coordinate with Europeans.
2. Cool the ideological jets and deal with reality.
3. Try to open doors of conciliation and negotiation with Iran.
jingoism and unfreeze Iranian assets.
2. Establish diplomatic relations with Iran.
3. Work for nuclear free Middle East.
Butt out. Leave
Mind your own business.
1. Pressure Israel to withdraw from
Palestinian occupied territories;
2. Restore diplomatic and economic relations with Iran;
3. Encourage, positively, homegrown democratic movements in Iran
Calm down the
rhetoric. Don't turn the Iranian public against us - stay out of their internal
politics. Wait and see, unless there is an imminent problem.
-Discuss meaningful joint and cooperative strategies for political participation and
1. Keep the US+EU3 cooperation and
2. Engage and increase the involvement of UN Security Council and IAEA in monitoring and
restraining Iran's nuclear activities.
3. Encourage liberalization and democratization in Iran by means of internationally coordinated conditionality
1. Avoid US policy becoming an
issue in Iranian domestic politics, which would only strengthen the hardliners in the
2. Support the European negotiations w/Iran
3. Get Israeli agents out of N. Iraq, as these are a
clear provocation to the regime in Iran.
the regime through engagement;
2. Avoid elements of Iranian opposition disliked by the majority of people in Iran;
3. Help the democratic forces within Iran.
serious direct bilateral negotiations to resolve formal diplomatic issues between the US
and Iran that still remain from the Iranian revolutionary period, which would enable
serious direct bilateral negotiations to commence about resumption of diplomatic ties
between the US and Iran.
2. Begin a multilateral effort to bring Iran back into the international economic community with WTO
membership seriously presented as the carrot of completing a successful diplomatic process
of integration back into the world financial system.
3. Begin negotiations with Iran on what it would be wiling to do to be permitted to become a
main transshipment zone for Caspian energy resource exports. This seems to be another
carrot that could strengthen the forces of domestic reform in Iran.
1. Treat Iran
as an equal. Do not be arrogant.
2. Do not base policy on wishes of Israel.
3. Policy decisions should be reached jointly with major allies and other interested
countries and NGOs.
listen anyhow but I would suggest that they 1. treat other nations and peoples as equals
2. learn to lean from and respect the ideas of those with whom they disagree 3.Never
use military force offensively.
1. Establish diplomatic relations based on mutual respect and shared interests.
2. Encourage further democratization by supporting moderate political groups and their
3. Encourage regional economic and cultural cooperation and peace building efforts among
Central Asian and Southwestern Asian states and societies.
human rights; cultural engagement; political rapprochement
1. Avoid making
inflammatory statements that insult the reform-oriented public and strengthen the
hard-liners (such as naming Iran part of an "axis of evil" even if such a statement
appears warranted by fact).
2. Avoid overt support for reformers, since such support could provide evidence to their
detractors that they are dupes of US influence (this is the best way to support them).
3. Recognize Iran's sovereignty in its quest to resolve problems of poverty and energy
supply--although it is the 2nd biggest oil producer in OPEC, some areas of the country
still have hours of brown-out per day because of energy shortage. Support use of
nuclear power for civilian energy while insisting on monitoring such as any other emergent
nuclear power might be subject to.
1. Try to form
a nuclear free pact in the area, including Israel.
2. Try to bring Iran into the community of nations. Do not continue to
needlessly isolate them.
3. End the freeze on their funds in the US.
1. Make certain
diplomatic concessions to Iranians.
2. Cater to the youth population (i.e. the generation that was born post-1979)
3. Engage Iran in potential trade discussions.
with the Iranian government, whatever it may be.
2. Diminished rhetoric phrased in the language of good and evil ("Axis of
3. Recognizing Iran's strategic interests as a dominant power in the region.
decreased tensions with Iran - de-escalate tough talk unilaterally; not allow Israel to
strike against Iran; recognize that the current elections represented anti-US sentiments
and domestic hardships in Iran, but not necessarily popular support a more militant,
hard-line Islamist regime. Don't exacerbate the situation by suggesting otherwise.
talk about being concerned about "human rights" in Iran...neither Iranians
nor educated Americans will believe you; instead use economic leverage and conduct talks
with the Iranian government. If you don't want to do it directly, do it through
European powers (who, generally speaking, have much more finesse dealing with Iranians and
generally speaking, have much better awareness of important cultural, social, and
historical issues which often make them better negotiators).
2. DO NOT send U.S. troops into Iran; from a military, economic, and social perspective this move
would be a lose-lose situation all around.
3. Make sure you have top caliber staff on this region. Ensure that you have
intelligent, diverse, and critical viewpoints from your advisors. Ask for
people's honest opinions...take a look at some of the social/cultural/economic research on
the area and LEARN from it. Having "yes" men and women who lack the appropriate
knowledge of Iranian history and culture will result in the failure of any policy you
propose...and probably result in the loss of countless Iranian and American lives.
the internal process toward reform and democracy in Iran play itself out without U.S. government interference.
1) Forget about
the hostages and the occupation of the US Embassy UNLESS you also seek to understand the
forces that led to that occupation in the first place.
2) Stop acting like the US is in any position to dictate to other countries what their
policies should be, especially given situations like Abu Ghraib
and Gitmo, which Muslims will remember for a
long, long time just as the US remembers the hostages in Tehran.
3) Stop assuming that folks everywhere else in the world are idiots while Americans
aren't. Our highhandedness and moral posturing have worn pretty thin almost everywhere and
especially in places where there are Muslims.
1. Refrain from
using harsh words
2. Support democratic/civil society forces
3. Start negotiating
again for 1953 coup (as Albright did in 2000)
2. Accept that Iran is a sovereign country and design a policy that respects the
right of each country to full self-determination.
3. Emphasize areas of common interests, such as concern over Wahhabi-Sunni extremism.
1. Stop blowing
every opportunity to work with reformers and stop making their task impossible.
2. Establish diplomatic relations.
3. Decouple America's relationship with Iran from America's relationship with Israel.
Learn from past
mistakes of all the previous US presidents, and UK administrators in the region; don't repeat the same/similar
mistakes; don't meddle in other countries affairs, unless they ask for it, or it becomes a
United Nations' collaborative initiative AFTER all diplomatic processes have taken place
and given a chance to work...
Question #7 How well is the US foreign policy formulation process toward Iran working?
believe you and they are disgusted with what they see in Iraq and election fraud
in the U.S.
itself. Any attempt at a coup in Iran will only create utter chaos. The only way you are going
to get the support of the Iranian government and populace is if you find a way to ease
poverty and actually allow Iranians themselves to chose who they want to run their own
policy? Everything those ignorant, narrow-minded idiots have done has strengthened
extremists everywhere--including Iran.
There seems to
be little interagency or broader comprehensive thinking about what the policy towards Iran actually is at
present, beyond the day-to-day requirements of affairs in Iraq, and even less about
what it ought to be.
There is no
evidence yet of any results achieved.
have been some successes, there are also notable failures.
time or space enough to detail how poorly the policy formulation process of the Bush
Administration is (not) working.
The US is caught between
realists who wish reconciliation with Iran and those who see this as an extension of the (now discredited)
war in Iraq
Iran's desire for nuclear energy development, and don't know how to
talk to its leaders. This administration is driven by ideology, and will not listen to
actual hard facts and information about Iran. There are experts everywhere whom they will not consult, in
preference to alarmists who insist that Iran is about to drop bombs on New York. It is a sad day
for American international relations that we have come to this pitiful state of affairs,
which may lead to tragic violence.
The administration is woefully ignorant of Iranian culture, and the sensibilities of the
Iranian public. They completely misinterpret
1. Be even
2. Be just
3. Stop Islamophobia.
Including Iran in the axis of evil
speech -- especially on the heels of pro-US post 9/11 popular demonstrations in Teheran --
came out of the blue.
foreign policy has always been atrocious. The Bush foreign policy has made the world
a less safe place to be. He is the worst president in my memory and has insured
hatred of Americans from almost every corner of the world. He and his cohorts are
thieves of the worse kind! He should be impeached then jailed for the rest of his
The book to
read is James Bill's "The Lion and the Eagle," for a definitive take on the
history of US-Iran relations. And the White House, State Department and the
Department of Defense need to recognize the bitter memories which remain as the residue of
the Mossadegh overthrow in the 1950s.
It has clearly
served to remove Iran from a willingness to explore relations with the US into a hard-line
corner that is trumping its anti-US stand.
I don't feel I
know enough about the process to comment.
flexibility, paint ourselves into corners, and antagonize groups we need to win over to
effect positive change.
US policy, particularly with regard to Israeli influence in
shaping it, has alienated much of the Arab and Muslim world. Contrary to Bush's
insistence that Arabs and Muslims hate us for what we are, they hate us for the policies
we have pursued toward them.
To my mind,
there definitely seems to be a communication problem.
Those who shape
Bush Administration policy seem to see the world in absolute terms. Policy, like
politics, requires ability to compromise -- which means recognition that others have valid
reasons for disagreement. The Bush Administration seems to believe that those who
are not in full agreement must be our enemies. Not true, folks.
The US has had no policy in
dealing with Iran! The two sides do not trust each other, continue to
demonize each other, and make no effort t reduce the tension and move toward a
Not clear we
have a "foreign policy" as opposed to a White House/AEI neocon policy.
Measure is the
acronym of Middle East Academic Research and Exposition.
MEASURE is a grant funded research tool that advises policy makers and the American
public on highly relevant topics. MEASURE
surveys are fielded by the Washington DC based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, (IRmep) a
non-profit, non-partisan, non- ideological public policy institute.
MEASURE surveys academics via a series of multiple choice and open questions to compile
and aggregate of informed opinion on timely policy issues.
76 MEASURE survey candidates are drawn from a pool of 2,300 academics with advanced
degrees in Middle East area studies. Not all MEASURE candidates teach or write
about contemporary Middle East issues, but are generally more informed and involved in
regional issues than their counterparts in academia, and reside within Middle East university
departments. The terminal degree profile of
this pool reveals a majority at the PhD and Master level.
Pool Terminal Degree Profile
MEASURE survey results are presented
in aggregate form only. Individual responses are anonymous. MEASURE survey
results are presented to the public in a timely fashion and also made available to policy
makers and the press. MEASURE avoids
uninvited or multiple survey responses by soliciting response by invitees only and
discarding repeat responses.
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x Congress Watch